The Saints and Rams combined for 80 points in their regular season meeting at the Superdome, but a repeat of those fireworks has not developed in the NFC Championship Game.
It’s still shaping up to be a close game, though.
After managing 15 yards while falling behind 13-0 in the first quarter of Sunday’s game, the Rams rallied for 151 yards in the second quarter. They also scored 10 points, including Todd Gurley‘s six-yard touchdown run with 23 seconds left in the half. That sent the teams to the locker room with the Saints up 13-10.
The Gurley score was a welcome highlight after two dropped passes and two runs for a loss of two yards over the rest of the half. One of those drops fell into Saints linebacker Demario Davis‘ hands for an interception that set up a field goal.
Davis’ big play helped spur the Saints to a good start and their effort has been helped by the team’s crowd. They answered head coach Sean Payton’s plea to be loud every moment that the Rams offense has the ball and the unit that took the NFC by storm for most of the season was held totally in check to open the game.
They found their footing on the final drive of the half and Jared Goff finally made a play downfield for a 39-yard gain to Brandin Cooks. While that was going on, the defense held the Saints to 14 yards and sacked Drew Brees after failing to get him down at all in the regular season.
That effort opened the door for the Rams to get back into the game before the half and they were able to do so. That sets up a tight final 30 minutes to determine who will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.